Those of you who've talked football with me probably know I'm a Tim Tebow fan. However, I'm different from a lot of Tebow fans in that I didn't like him at all coming out of college. When Denver selected him in the first round of the 2010 draft, I thought it was perhaps the most insane draft selection ever, literally ever. And in limited time in the 2010 season, Tebow showed little to suggest he'd be anything better than a gimmicky backup who could run a little and throw even less.
And the reality is, maybe that's as much as he could have ever been. But in 2011 a confluence of events (Kyle Orton's ineptitude, public pressure, and the general approach by a coach that if something isn't working, you should change it) gave Tebow a chance to start in the NFL. While posting abysmal completion percentages and unimpressive passing yardage, Tebow helped push the Broncos to 8-8, which was good enough to win a sorry ass AFC West.
We all remember the playoffs that year. The game against the Steelers, Tebow's early TD pass to Eddie Royal, his rushing touchdown a few minutes later. The 80-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas (which was really a 14-yard pass that Thomas shook into a TD). And then going into New England and getting completely and utterly dismantled. That was the last game Tim Tebow ever started at quarterback.
I don't know the numbers, but I have to think that the number of guys who won a game in the playoffs one year and then never got another start at quarterback has to be pretty short.
He moved on to the Jets that offseason, after the Broncos decided to go for broke with Peyton Manning, a move that seems to have paid off for Denver. But for Tebow, the Jets were a miserable place to go. According to Football Reference he started two games, but neither one was at quarterback. Presumably he was listed as a starter at fullback for those games. But there's no denying that he was given roughly zero chance in New York to prove he was capable of being a quarterback in the NFL, starting or otherwise. He touched the ball 42 times (10 dropbacks, 32 rushing attempts).
And then what? A preseason with the Patriots in which Tom Brady said he enjoyed having Tebow around, but Bill Belichick chose to keep only 2 quarterbacks on the active roster. Then, nothing.
How? How is it possible that this player, a proven winner in college, a sporadically productive player in the NFL, and an obvious athlete, can't get a gig?
I'm going to ask around. I'm going to do some research. I'm going to get to the bottom of this. And I'll update you guys in what I'm tentatively calling "Part 2."
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